The facilities developed for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing were sufficient to host the majority of the Winter competitions. There was just one new structure needed: a facility for freestyle skiing and big air snowboarding. Brian Li Zhang's Beijing office TeamMinus created this for a stunning setting at the Shougang Industrial Park, amid what was formerly the largest steelworks in the Beijing region. The massive industrial remnants were redesigned for new functions as part of the construction of the new Olympic Games venue.
In February 2022, China will host the XXIV Winter Olympics. The numerous sports events will take place in Beijing, as well as in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, which are 75 and 100 kilometers northwest of the city, respectively. Despite the fact that snowboarding has been an Olympic sport since 1998, the big air freestyle event was introduced in 2018. As a result, this will be just the second time in China that Olympic-level large air contests will be held.
This is Northern China's most ambitious industrial heritage transformation project. It intends to bring civic life back to this century-old steel factory, reunite the city with the Yongding River, and restore the deteriorating natural environment. Big Air Shougang's concept combines the Winter Games venue with the renovation of a crucial section of the former steel mill centered on cooling towers, an oxygen generating facility, and a cooling lake.
There is a number of freshly planned open areas connect a park landscape with a nearby river, which, along with the outstanding beauty of the industrial remnants, not only offers a backdrop for the athletic events but will also be preserved as an amenity for the capital's citizens.
In addition to the new free-standing ski jumping facility (Big Air Venue), TeamMinus restored various old buildings for usage both during the Games and beyond. For example, the former oxygen factory will be made available to new businesses. The transformation of the previously massive steelworks into a park setting with jobs for a sustainable economy demonstrates the project's ambition.
The jump runway for the Big Air event is the focal point of the revamp. The lift, in-run and take-off slopes, and landing area are all part of this solitary triangular construction. It makes use of 3,000 tons of prefabricated steel components, 700 pieces of perforated aluminum panels, and retractable broadcast light poles that are combined. The stadium is divided into two halves. A permanent concrete-built bottom half dipped into the lake with 2,500 seats, and an upper part of light steel above the water level that will be removed after the Games to restore the shoreline to a more horizontal and continuous appearance.
TeamMinus highlights how a new urban environment may be produced via the adaptive reuse of industrial ruins in conjunction with new urban features with the development of the new sports complex in the former steelworks. Because many other heavy industries will also cease to exist in China, the expertise acquired with this initiative is very valuable, as it demonstrates that and how something new may arise from the old.
Photographs by Lu Bei.
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